Remember, these topics are just SUGGESTIONS. You are more than welcome to explor
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Remember, these topics are just SUGGESTIONS. You are more than welcome to explore topics outside
these—but first run your topic through me to be sure that it’s ok. Your essay is to be between FOUR and
EIGHT pages in length and should have one inch margins all the way around. Use Times New Roman or
a similar font and 12-point type and remember to cite all sources using MLA 7th edition as your citation
guide. Please be sure to read through the “How to Cite” guidelines and if you have any questions, don’t
hesitate to ask. You are required to use a minimum of THREE sources for this essay—one of which
MUST be non-internet. EBooks and digitized articles are considered non-internet for the purposes of
this paper. Your textbook IS NOT an acceptable source. Sources such as Wikipaedia, answers.com,
Encarta, and similar sources ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE SOURCES.
Your final draft will be due NO LATER than 11:59 PM, December 4.
Nota Bene: Many of these questions are very broad in scope. There is no way you can answer all facets
of some of these questions in a mere four to eight pages nor do I want you to. What I want you to do is
to zero in on a FEW—often just ONE or TWO—key elements and go into detail on those. State in your
introduction something to the effect that you are concentrating on that/those key elements and that
you are aware that there is far more to the subject.
1. Discuss the industrialization of the United States following the Civil War through circa 1900: what
were some of the more important factors that influenced industrialization and how did they impact that
process? Finally, what were some of the positive and what were some of the negative products of
industrialization? In your essay, you should consider the role played by industrial tycoons such as
Andrew Carnegie as well as labor unions and the labor movement. Also consider the role played by immigrant labor in industrialization.
2. Describe the development of Plains Indian culture and its destruction. What was it based on? What
brought about its end? Cite concrete examples and sources in your answer.
3. Trace the growth of populism in US politics. In what ways do you think the populist movement
impacted on future government social and economic policies?
4. Discuss the role played by women in various political and social movements during the later 19th century. In your answer, don’t forget to discuss such issues as women’s suffrage, civil rights, prohibition, populism, and poverty and concern for the poor.
5. Discuss the role played by immigrants in the development of the United States following the Civil War
through 1900. In your answer, take into account political, economic, social, and cultural factors. In your
answer, don’t forget to discuss the the nativist reaction to the growing number of immigrants entering
the United States in the later 19th century. What were some of the reasons given by nativists against
immigration and what were some of the tools and methods used by these nativist groups to achieve
6. Discuss Progressivism and the role of Theodore Roosevelt in the Progressive movement. How did
the Progressive movement of the late 19th—early 20th centuries change the nature and perception of the
role of government in society? In what ways was Progressivism a moral force? Would you describe
Roosevelt and Progressivism as a success or failure? Why or why not? Use specific examples of
Progressive causes, legislation, or failures to justify your position.
7. Discuss machine politics and urban corruption during the later 19th century. In what ways did the
urban machines provide a net benefit or liability for their communities? Support your answer.
8. Examine the birth and growth of US imperialism during the later 19th century culminating in the
Spanish-American War. What were some of the goals of those supporting an imperial posture? What
were some of the arguments made by those opposed to imperialism? In what ways was US imperialism
similar to that practiced by European powers such as Britain, France, and Germany, and non-European powers such as Japan, and how did it differ?
9. Discuss American involvement in the First World War. Why did the US enter the war? How did it
contribute towards Allied victory? What were the legacies of American involvement in the war?
10. Discuss one or two of the major social and cultural changes that took place during the 1920s
(entertainment, Prohibition, the role of women, the automobile, increasing urbanization) and how they
transformed American society?
11. Discuss American involvement in the Second World War. What were some of the most important
actions that involved US forces and why were they important. How did minorities and women contribute towards a successful conclusion of the war?
13. How did Reconstruction affect the African-American struggle for equality? Look at both short term
and long-term in your answer.
14. Discuss the how fear of the Atomic Bomb impacted 1950s society.
15. How did the Vietnam conflict shape American consciousness and identity from the 1960s through
16. Discuss the Civil Rights movement and its evolution from Selma through the assassination of Martin
Luther King Jr.
17. What factors contributed towards McCarthyism and the Red Scare of the 1950s? Don’t forget to look at social and cultural factors as well as political in your essay.